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The Science of Storytelling: Why Telling a Story is the Most Powerful Way to Activate Our Brains

Our brain on stories

A story can put your whole brain to work.

When we are being told a story, not only are the language processing parts in our brain activated, but any other area in our brain that we would use when experiencing the events of the story are too.

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The Science of Storytelling: Why Telling a Story is the Most Powerful Way to Activate Our Brains

The Science of Storytelling: Why Telling a Story is the Most Powerful Way to Activate Our Brains

https://lifehacker.com/the-science-of-storytelling-why-telling-a-story-is-the-5965703

lifehacker.com

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Key Ideas

We are wired for storytelling

A story, if broken down into the simplest form, is a connection of cause and effect. And that is exactly how we think. We think in narratives all day long.

Giving suggestions

Exchange giving suggestions for telling stories.

A story is the only way to activate parts in the brain so that a listener turns the story into their own idea and experience.

Go with simple stories

The simple story is more successful than the complicated one.

Using simple language as well as low complexity is the best way to activate the brain regions that make us truly relate to the happenings of a story. Reduce the number of adjectives or complicated nouns in a presentation or article and exchange them with a more simple, yet heartfelt language.

Bring in stories from yourself or an expert

If you feel you don't have enough experience to share on a certain subject, ask for quotes from the top folks in the industry or simply find great passages they had written online.

It's a great way to add credibility and at the same time, tell a story.

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Why storytelling works

Stories are like instruction manuals that explain how we move from one state of being to another.

Stories help us imagine how we can improve our own lives or avoid unpleasant consequen...

A good story moves us

A good story can make us laugh or cry, our bodies can tense with a dramatic horror movie, or we are flooded with relief when the hero comes to the rescue. This experience is called transportation.

Transportation allows us to experience a story's movement through its characters. The characters' struggles and their rewards become our own.

Our relationship with stories

Good stories catch your attention, connects you by drawing you in and move you to action. Stories that don't capture your attention will fail to deliver their message.

When participants remain engaged with a story and see characters overcome conflicts, they will empathize with the characters and be more willing to act on these feelings.

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Storytelling is essential to living

Stories are the primary way through which we make sense of our world. We explain ideas by telling stories.

Even science uses storytelling when they use data of the physical world to ex...

Where science and story meet

Despite the verities of science, we feel compelled to tell stories that venture beyond the facts.

When we first see separate ideas, we feel obliged to find a relationship between the ideas to form a coherent picture. Once a possible relationship has been established, we feel the need to come up with an explanation.

The brain’s reward system

When the brain pieces separate bits of an image together to form a coherent picture, it is known as pattern recognition. Once we recognize a pattern, it can spark a degree of pleasure, often described as that "a-ha" moment.

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Corporate Speak
Corporate Speak

Corporations have a language that they use while talking in meetings or communicating in email. It’s called Corporate Jargon.

Corporate jargon is a forced and complicated way to exp...

Language With No Substance
  • The corporate jargon is often described as fluffy, without any real substance and aimed towards the speaker’s self-inflated ego.
  • Words are substituted for analogies and references that take longer to process, and have the intention of wrapping, hiding or impeding actual, effective communication.
The Emporer's New Clothes

Corporate speak may not mean anything of value to anyone in a meeting, but like the Emperor's New Clothes, no one wants to point out the inefficiency and mind-numbing nature of the constant use of the jargon. Everyone pretends that they are on the same page as everyone else.

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